Saturday, 30 April 2016

Week 9!

It's definitely been a crazy few weeks with all the assessments being due. I've been After so long I've had to take maths again! It's been 4 years since I've done proper maths and even longer since I learnt the algebraic rules for everything. Thank goodness I chose the "easier" maths as recommended for people who didn't do so well in high school maths. We've now progressed into sin/cos/tan graphing, matrices and vectors. Yeah, graphing wasn't my strong point so I take ages to figure out the question... So far the other topics aren't too bad. So far..

In addition to maths, I'm taking second year statistics without taking first year stats. At the start of the semester the content was very overwhelming and coming up to the mid semester exam I was stressing out very badly. Our lecturer said that he decided to lower the fail mark because some people didn't do so well and throughout the talk he kept on looking over at me. My heart was pounding because it looked like he was directing the comment in my direction. When we finally got our results back at the end of that week, I found out that I ended up doing better than some classmates who took year 1 stats which made me very happy indeed! This next lot of work seems easier in comparison because I managed to work out how to calculate the basic tables which is central to everything in this subject!

My other subject, Plants, has been very content heavy and time consuming. It's definitely not as assessment heavy but there is just so much to learn about plants it's almost crazy. There's a stack of definitions I have to wrap my head around and every week we progressively move onto another classification of plants. Mark wise this is worst subject so far but that's all down to the weighting of assessment pieces. The total percentage of the assessments we've completed so far add up to 20% in comparison to maths where we've already reached the 45% mark. Here's one page of my plant herbarium assignment. The one thing I learnt while gluing it on: any plant looks great flattened, glued down on white cardboard and labelled in the corner.

Last week I went to see my sister at her university. Gosh I love how quiet it is out there! We stood by these horses while we chatted away. It was a great day :)

Aside from university I've been obsessing over Orphan Black! (Recap from my last post: SBS has been running 4 hour marathons on Saturday and Sundays for viewers to catch up in preparation for their season 4 premiere. My sister forced me to watch the first two episodes and I was hooked!) So as I watched episode after episode, I realised I actually watched segments of Orphan Black a few years ago while I was channel surfing.

That scene above where Helena wants to see that guy's tail... Before then when they have CCTV shots of Helena walking through corridors and Sara being taken away by a couple of guys... I saw that part and I changed the channel thinking it was a slasher-horror movie. And you know I'm not a fan of horror movies. Darn, I wish I watched more of it! Oh well. And I also saw Helena being Alison when she checks up on Donnie at the drug dealer's place. Speaking of... I changed my sister's laptop background while she was away to the image below.
She's back tomorrow. We shall see her reaction.

Update: For a second she was shocked but then she started laughing her pants off. She loves it!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Half way there?

Yep, I didn't post last month at all. Honestly, this blog slipped my mind. I did have free time I just spent most of it on Howrse. Maybe you knew about that - I did manage to reply back to all messages within 12 hours!

Orientation day, a few weeks back, with the mentors went well. I met with a group of first years and we had a good few hours together to get to know the campus and each other. We had a good free sandwich lunch and we held a presentation for the first years. I even met up with a friend I hadn't seen from primary school. She had definitely come a long way since being one of the quiet kids in class. She seemed like she had her life sorted out, unlike me!

I went home that day and had a good long thought about what I was doing in my life and what I wanted to do. I guess I still don't really know. *sigh* At the moment, all I really want to do is get this degree done one way or another. After talking to that friend, I feel like I've 'wasted' a lot of time at university. This is my 4th year at uni and I still haven't gotten past the halfway mark yet. Most of my classmates from high school have graduated their degrees and they've already moved on. A couple of my classmates are even expecting babies in August/September this year! And I'm just sitting here with a load of textbooks, slightly procrastinating while freaking out about how complicated statistics is. *sigh*

On the brighter side, the past 4 weeks of university has been rather kind to me. I've met three wonderful additions to my university friends list and I see them everywhere now! I met them through mentoring and now they're in two of my courses, meaning I see them almost everyday. Two of them were actually selected randomly to be in my group which is another plus. The content this semester has been good and I've managed to keep up with all my classes, except statistics...

One strange thing this semester is the mid-semester break. We get one week off around the halfway mark, usually between week 6 and 7, but this semester it's in between weeks 4 and 5! It's definitely thrown me off! I literally just started working my bum off in a couple of subjects and now that we're just about to start the other 'half semester' I've thrown my study schedule down the drain. Whoops.

It probably didn't help when on Friday night my sister was channel surfing on my tv and she came across an Orphan Black marathon. My sister binged watched this very show in the summer holidays. She literally spent all her time either watching it, eating and watching, sleeping or taking a quick shower. I woke up at 7:30am to find that she went to bed 10 minutes ago. She'd then wake up at 3pm and binge more. Anyway, she forced me to watch three episodes with her, the first three episodes I might add, and I got addicted to it! I stayed up until 3am on Saturday and Sunday watching the marathons. Now I'm tired as heck and I've got class tomorrow morning. But I can't wait until next Friday when the next marathon starts. Haha.

Chill, there's only an exam on Friday in the afternoon. (Side note: why, statistics, do you have to set an exam for Friday 3pm?)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Forward Momentum

Life has been pretty good for me lately. I'm back at university next Monday (not tomorrow) and I've had a decent break from everything.

Last week I got a text from one of my teachers who wanted to know if I'd be a mentor for the first year students. Of course, I debated this for a little while before decided to give it a shot. I mean, yes, I am a shy person and I wouldn't have thought I'd be in any public speaking position but I'm giving it a go. Who knows, this might be something I enjoy!

So we had training all day on Thursday in which we learnt about the services my uni offers, communication skills, dealing with certain interruptions in group conversations and learning various ice breaker games and communication techniques. It wasn't a large group but when I got picked on to answer questions, I kind of flipped. Haha, no wonder I decided to not pursue drama in high school! I'm seriously bad at public speaking and I don't like everyone's attention on me... my heart was practically racing when the experienced mentors were picking people! But it was a wonderful training sesh.

On Friday my sister and I went OP shopping because she needed to get a few bits of clothing for her uni dorm parties. We looked for Hawaiian shirts, tight/bright/shiny clothing, zombie socks and what not. We stopped by a community bookstore and I found my favourite author's books! For $6 each! They sell online for at least $8 plus postage! I purchased 2 books simply because I couldn't remember which ones I had at home already! Whoops! But I will go back and finish my collection!

Today we said bye to my little sister as she embarks on her own little journey a good hours' drive into the country. It was quite the experience, moving into a dormitory. Loads of clothes, books, bathroom essentials and stuff. We spent the morning helping her get her stuff in and then head off for lunch and a parental session on campus life. Honestly, they aimed the talk at newly graduated high school students so my parents and I totally zoned out for most of it haha. They spoke a decent amount on drinking on campus as well as issues arising from feeling like their the only one going through hardship and what not.

I guess the thing that surprised me the most was how casually the second year students handled a snake in the room down the hall from my sister's. They casually reported it to the floor leader who then called security and they caught it together! I know that doesn't seem strange to some of you but where I live, we have no snakes that come onto our property at all! With the exception of one really big snake in the summer of 2009-ish which tried to eat our birds. But it's bizzare... then again she is in a rural area.... Just strange to me haha.

Tomorrow, I introduce a bunch of first years to my own university. I feel weird saying that now because we just left my sister over at another university. But I guess in a way it closes the gap? I guess we'll see how it goes then :D

This semester will be another busy one for me, not as crazy as 2014 though. Hopefully. :D

Friday, 5 February 2016

Gaming: Early Jan Howrse update

So I've had my VIP account for a good week now and it's been awesome. It's been really time saving and I could definitely see myself using VIP perks while I'm back at University. However, it does cost 10 passes a month so I'd have to 'kill' 10 pass horses a month to keep up.

Also a minus - I've started getting those annoying messages from players asking if I'm selling my Diamond Apple horse, will I join their team or how much they think their horse is worth.... Gah! I've posted on my presentation the answers to most of what they ask but do they read it? No. That is really annoying, especially when I get so many messages in one day!

Just yesterday I tried to update my presentation and I found our that the blacklisted words list has been updated to include 't wat'. I'm thinking, I would never use that word - especially on a site which has a wide community of younger players. So I hit Ctrl+f to find out where it was on my page and I was surprised!

Ha! I've had that 50 questions to get to know me thing on my page for at least 2 weeks now and I go to my page to update my records frequently. That's the first time I've seen that message! I can't update my page until I take out my answer for that question but at the same time I don't want to change my answer! Eh, I guess it can wait.

Another thing that's been annoying me is that every time Howrse has a promotion going on (the current one is 'The Mazes') and they introduce more chances of moving through the promo (the current one is extra candy in Titans Challenge), my internet connection to Howrse is very laggy! It's 10pm and I'm not even done with my first lot of breeding farms when I usually would be finished by now. Every other website that I go to my internet is running at normal speed! Yeah I think I'm just going to give up working my horses tonight. It's too slow to work them properly.

The best thing I'm happy with is my ranking. From being ranked around 1600th at the end of last year, I'm now ranked in the top 810! Now that's what I call progress hahaha!

Ok, I'm off. I'm going to head to bed now since there's not much I can do on Howrse reasonably. Hopefully I won't sleep in so I can get some decent ECs for my foals.... Then again I can always work them the next day instead... -sigh-

Oh! I might do a post on my gaming blog about the current Howrse version - because I hear that Howrse is changing it's layout soon!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Egg layers: An update of chicken breeds (3 months)

My chickies have grown bigger! Even though we got them as point of lays, we've noticed some growth, particularly to their faces which have turned a darker shade of pink and longer combs and wattles. Our chooks have been wonderful additions to the family. We love letting them roam free in the afternoon and finding worms with them. Even the dogs don't bother the chickens too much! It took a while for the dogs to adjust to these guys but they've been really good around them now. Of course, we never let the dogs out with the chickens unsupervised. A reminder of who's who....

Patricia, Barred Utility
Clara, ISA Brown
Martha, Barred Utility
Getting chickens takes a decent amount of decision. You might want a quiet chicken or a great egg layer or just a pet for the family. Here are what I've experienced with my chickens. This is the first time we've had chickens!

General Behaviour
My Barred Utilities are definitely more of watch dogs than my ISA Brown. You'll often see Martha standing tall and watching everything around her, Clara going about her business digging and Patricia flinching or reacting to something ridiculous. Clara loves to follow me around the yard and she'll come over to see what you're doing. ISA Browns are one of the recommended breeds for my area and I can see why. They are very friendly and don't cause too much trouble. Martha will come over if you have any food but if you come too close for her comfort, she'll start a little warning vocalisation. She dislikes being touched so she'll squat before walking away. Patricia by far has the most dramatic behaviour - she bolts. Patricia doesn't like human interaction and will stay close to her chook friends but at least a metre or two away from humans. You'll often see her running from somewhere - and because she's running, the other two sometimes follow her.

Egg laying
Clara started laying first followed by Patricia a couple of weeks later then Martha a few weeks after that. Clara's egg count is now 61, Patricia's is 58 and Martha's on 48. I haven't checked today but I expect there's an egg from each chicken sitting there.

Clara's laying is quite varied. She used to lay an egg everyday for a week then stop a day then start again. Now she's laying maybe four days in a row before stopping but she went through a period where she was laying two eggs before stopping. We figured the more worms she gets the more regular her laying is. That being said, her eggs are jumbo or king sized ones. She's also laid two double yolk eggs! You can tell if she's going to lay the next day or not from the time of day she lays - the earlier the higher chance she'll lay tomorrow. A few sites say that ISA Browns are good layers in their first year of laying.

Patricia lays the smallest eggs of the three. Her eggs are small but she's a great layer. She lays for a longer period before taking a break. Her current laying period is about a week and a half now. She's catching up to Clara fast. Barred Utilities are a breed that was started by the chicken farm we got these guys from. According to their website they were bred for looks and have a good egg laying capacity. So far they are definitely living up to their description.

Martha lays large eggs and she's also a quite good layer. She lays about 6 days then takes a break before laying another 6 days. She is also living up to her breed description.

When they started laying my chickens didn't brood at all. Two and a half months in and both Barred Utilities are brooding. Patricia started brooding first but she only broods for around half an hour. Martha is currently brooding as I'm writing this and it's 1pm! She currently broods the longest. Yesterday she sat up there for nearly three hours and today she made it to three and a half hours*. Clara doesn't brood at all. She'll lay then rest a little before coming out. It probably takes her 20 minutes in total. I should add that we have a great shot of the coop from the house so we can see what their doing by passing the window. We aren't going to go out there every 20 minutes to check if their out of the nesting box haha.

*Edit as I'm still writing I just heard her come out - she lands heavy on the metal coop roof.

Noise level
Generally speaking all three are pretty quiet birds. However there are certain things that get them started. Starting from the start of the day - laying sometimes causes some verbalisation. My dad made a nesting box especially for the chickens. Unfortunately they preferred the milk crate which I was storing extra dried grass bedding for the coop. When they started laying it became a problem when at least two birds wanted to lay at the same time. So we got them a new milk crate so they'd have another spot. The only time they're noisy now is when two chickens take too long laying (usually the Barred Utilities) and one bird is left alone on the ground. Sometimes one of the chickens will vocalise right after they lay an egg but this doesn't happen often with my girls. In the afternoon around an hour to half an hour before we let them out to roam they'll always vocalise, almost like "hey let me out!". They aren't too bad, they'll complain a bit then stop and start again. In comparison to the noise on my street, they are a bit noisy but truth be told my street is absolutely quiet right now, except the sound of wild birds and an aeroplane. We hardly get traffic here.

This is probably the biggest thing you have to get a handle on. Chickens poop a lot. Like a seriously large amount of poop per day. More chickens brings more smell. My grandpa built a chicken coop and my dad built an aviary-like building for the coop so the chickens can roam a bit. Because it was custom built we chose to have most of the sides a wire mesh fence and two sections that are solid metal so they aren't too disturbed while laying. Since it's kinda open, our coop doesn't smell too bad. You want to be cleaning the coop daily but if not definitely the next day. With my 3 chickens I clean daily since uncovered poop does bring flies.The chickens also help out by covering up most of their own poop when digging or dust bathing. Unintentionally of course.

There might be rules with where you can build coops too. In my area we can't built one closer than a metre next to a neighbouring fence. One of my neighbours has a closed off coop and it smells bad! You can smell it from across the road and he's even got a solid fence... Just think about all that before building...

And yep, that's all I've got for now.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Down in the Gutter... (A Year in Review)

Hey guys,

I'm really feeling down lately and I feel like I need a place to rant.

I feel like my whole world is starting to split apart. Those of you who have been reading my posts for at least a year, know that I left my nursing degree for another. If not and you want to know, it's here. Well, it's that time of year that everyone's posting graduation photos of themselves and friends. And this year would have been the year I graduated, alongside them, if I had continued with my original degree and I kept up good grades. I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I'm glad I didn't continue with nursing and I'm happy my friends made it to the end. But on the other hand, I'm almost devastated. I'm kicking myself for not continuing my degree and for not pushing myself. However, looking back to my other hand, I honestly wouldn't know if I had made a "good" nurse with all my flaws. As I sit here typing this, I've passed first year Science but I can't sit here without thinking of what could have been if I had maybe gone a different path and became an enrolled nurse (EEN) instead of giving up nursing completely.

On the other side, I know if I had continued nursing, my health would have deteriorated greatly. I'm not sure if I've said this here or not but the stress of uni, nursing placements and work together stressed me out badly. Starting from when my nursing degree started to put a lot of pressure on us and preparing us for our first placement to when I finally quit nursing (I was only working 2 days a week back then) I did not have a period. That was going on nearly 10 months. In a way I'm glad - adding in periods would have made life hell.
Then in the middle of the year I was diagnosed with early stage Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS). You can read more of that here. Looking back, the signs were all there but I guess I was in denial to admit I had a problem. When I finally got to the doctor after my 2nd period (3 months apart) that was lasting 3 weeks, my GP told me it wasn't normal but "quite a lot of women have it being too much of a bother" so, I kind of went into a few weeks of "shock" before brushing it off. After all, it wasn't effecting me daily, it was only really bothering me for around 3 weeks every few months.

However, living knowing that I have PCOS and reading up about it since my GP was so helpful (sarcastic by the way, she practically blew it off like it was a stray leaf on the lawn), I found out that my hormones and emotions are one hell of a roller coaster. If you know me in real life, I'm usually quite agreeable but if you live with me and are as annoying as my parents (Yes, I still live with them. Heck, most of my senior class still live with their parents!) then you will really get on my nerves. Most of the time I'll just deal with whatever interruption they have but... I've noticed every time it comes up to when I should have had a period I have a shorter fuse. Like I'm not even kidding, I'm saying this myself, you can interrupt me twice within a span of four hours and I'd be steaming pissed off at you. Then because of this, I get into arguments with my parents. Well, more specifically my mum. Surprisingly, my dad's more understanding about everything than my mum is. Then again. It's no surprise. I don't want this to turn into a rant about my mum but she just doesn't know how to "step in someone else's shoes". Let's leave it as that.

This then leads to my new course. Honestly, I don't know what I'm doing studying this degree! I just changed majors for next semester but I don't know if I'll ever use it. I honestly want to get into zoology or animal management or something but I don't know if I'll ever get there at this rate. My parents still don't know that I left nursing so at the moment they think I'm a qualified nurse. And they want me to get a job as a nurse. Right now. I don't think I'm ever going to tell them. They're going to kick my butt when they find out and I honestly think that they're going to disown me. Or maybe worse.

The past few days have been rough on me. This is my 2nd, going on 3rd week since coming back from Sydney and also since my period started. Great timing, right? But this period has been really painful and bloody. Great visuals, hey? It seems like I've either been curled up in a ball or in the bathroom. Or eating my sister's home-made Tiramisu. But to make matters worse, my sister got into a fight with each of my parents for different things on the same day! So both my parents are peeved off and my sister's in a foul mood.

To add to the brew of high tension and crazy emotions, my mum keeps stealing my computer (to use). I checked out what she was doing because she has her own laptop with internet but she comes all the way to the other side of the house to use mine? I don't know, she's bizarre. Anyway, I checked the internet history and she's thinking of selling the house! I'll be absolutely devastated if she sells this house. I've been living here for my entire life! Yes, we did move a couple of times while it was being renovated in places but it's still been our house. It's got memories. I've never had to deal with an entire house move and I like the neighbourhood despite our bothersome new neighbours across the road. I really hope we don't have to leave this house for good.

Sometimes I feel like there's no one to talk to. I can't speak openly to my parents, my sister honestly doesn't give a shiz about what I say, I left my nursing friends, I hardly see my high school friends and even then it seems like we've really changed from when we used to hang out everyday, I've only made a couple of friends in my new degree and they're either 3 hours train ride away or busy with their own families.

-Sighh- Wow, that rant's definitely made me feel better!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Sydney Nov '15

I'm back home from a lovely trip to Sydney! My friends and I went there primarily for N's Wedding! I still can't believed she's married now! We stayed in Rushcutters Bay at a nice hotel and the wedding was held at a park nearby which was across from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 
On the last day we found out that our flight home was cancelled! That was a crazy afternoon! Since I booked through Flight Centre, they were able to get me on another flight home but it was an earlier flight with another airline. My friends and I literally just arrived at Bondi Beach so I had to rush to the city by bus then quickly get a taxi to the airport. After a very stressful hour and a bit I finally arrived at the airport to find that check in doesn't close for a little bit, to my relief. 
The plane took off at 5:35pm and shortly after we were flying above my home city. Unfortunately there was a bad storm and we flew around for an hour before the captain told us we had to fly back to Sydney! We were then told we had to stay the night and had to rebook onto another flight the next day! The hotel was lovely and much more spacious than other hotels I stayed at in Sydney but I didn't sleep well because I just don't sleep well on the first night staying anywhere other than home...
The next day my flight was at 7:35am and we finally touched down on home turf soon after. My friends who were meant to fly with my on the cancelled flight managed to fly out on the same day with the same airline. I was so exhausted after the nearly-4 hour flight from Sydney to Sydney & flight home that I was half-sleeping for days after! Well, I was trying to stay up during daylight hours...

Rushcutters Bay
Rushcutters Bay
Roof of hotel night
Roof of hotel day
El Alamein Memorial Fountain / Kings Cross Fountain

St Mary's Cathedral

Penguins at Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Aquarium

Ricky Martin,
Madame Tussauds

N+J Wedding 

Aqua S ice cream!
Sea salt ice cream + popping candy
Sea salt & lemon tea ice cream + fairy floss

Wild Life Sydney Zoo crocodile!

Milk crate Santa in Darling Harbour

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Opera House

Sydney Opera House from the Royal Botanic Gardens

That's all for now,